If the reports are true, Zlatan Ibrahimović turned down a gigantic payday to come to the LA Galaxy. But just how big?
Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl reported that the 6-foot-5 Galaxy striker turned down a multi-year deal worth $100 million to play in China.
Wahl sources his story from Galaxy Technical Director Jovan Kirovski who received a large amount of praise from both AEG President Dan Beckerman and Galaxy President Chris Klein for landing the Swedish striker.
“He was a real bulldog on this transaction,” Beckerman said about Kirvoski. “And I didn’t think a bulldog could catch a lion but it turns out that he can. So thanks Jovan for chasing him down and for making this possible.”
Ibrahimović, who signed under Major League Soccer’s Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) rule, will make a total of $3 million over the course of his two-year contract. He reportedly made close to $27 million when he was playing for Manchester United.
“You’re here for all the right reasons,” Beckerman stated at Ibrahimovic’s press conference. “But most importantly you’re here to win.”
And so far that remains true.
Klein also seemed to allude to other places for Ibrahimović to play. Saying at the press conference that “we know you had choices, and so to choose us, we couldn’t be more excited.”
Regardless of how they eventually landed him, Ibrahimovic had options around the globe. And almost anywhere would pay him more money than what the Galaxy can currently offer.
And just to clarify, the club has repeatedly asserted that there are no side deals or sponsorships that are pouring money into Ibrahimovic at their direction.
With Ibrahimović finding enough form to score two spectacular goals on two shots and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against LAFC, the club may have already earned their money back.
He’s heaped worldwide attention on a club that was struggling to make positive headlines and momentarily launched the club up the standings.
And for a guy who, if he stays healthy, could easily pour on the goals, is Ibrahimović actually a bargain-bin buy?
One thing is for certain, he’s likely to be even more of a fan-favorite now that it’s obvious he has only one thing on his mind and only one reason to come to Los Angeles — winning.